Roger Zahab | Collected Songs


for voice and piano (2022)


Perusal Score

Program Notes

Many years of fumbling instinct and serious error are bound (hand and foot) together in this collection of songs for
one singer and piano. Most have been left as they first sprang forth and were staked to the page, others have been
finally revisioned with the benefit of years of remorseless doubt and desperate study. In this tentative approach
toward enlightenment I’ve kept the essence of certain original attempts and, finally able to understand what I was
trying to do so many years ago, have taken my younger self in hand to correct a great many flaws.… at least enough
so that I will be able to get a few more hours of sleep at night.

None of this could have been done without the great kindness of those musicians who sang and played and
encouraged me through all these years. The dedicatees of the songs, the poets, those who worked through them,
asked questions, and gave such helpful criticism, those who bolted from the room, those who laughed or were deeply
offended, and those who saw a glimmer of possibility – all deserve greater thanks than I can give.

Along with those names already inscribed within these pages I have to thank others (and beg forgiveness of those
momentarily forgotten) who supported my compositional work, keyboard study, listened to, and/or performed either
my first attempts or these established songs in all their versions:

Carla Spannbauer, Thomas F. Hutchins, Farley K. Hutchins, Jay Humeston, David S. Bernstein, Louis Lane, Timothy
Drew Walsh, Robert (Rabbit) Wright, Benton Hess, John Cage, Tison Street, Ursula Mamlok, Marcia Eckert, William
Boswell, Christopher Vassiliades, Bennett Lerner, Don Gillespie, William McCabe, Birgit Djupedal, Mark Daniel
Braham, Kelly Lynch, Gilda Lyons, Dennis Tobenski, Anna Singer, Danielle Adams, Walter Morales, Anna Elder, Kara
Cornell, Alexandra Johnson, John Teresi, Mitch FitzDaniel, and, though mentioned elsewhere, the multiple personae
of Rob Frankenberry.

I could not have learned even part of the essentials without them.

Songs in this volume:
Sands at Seventy – Five Whitman Songs (1980)
River Song (1981)
Absence (1981)
Welcome (1983)
Lines written on the water (1983)
Meditation on a statue (1983)
A Glimpse (1986)
What think you I take my pen in hand to record? (1986)
On the beach at night (1986)
Three Songs from Postmodern Cantata (1986)
Seven Songs from Hegemony (1983-2007)
Christmas Oratorio for Richard Englehart (1988)
Sung Water Mass (1989)
Autumn Songs – Five Whitman Songs (1997)
Another Fall (1998)
O You Whom I Often and Silently Come (1999)
Friendship (2002)
defender of joy (2005)
Six Songs from Ohio Entelechron (2006)
Evening Out (2008)
Two songs from Christmas Carol (2012)
Mini-fridge aria from Penthouse Suite (2013)
In Light (2013)
Happy Hour Karaoke Song (2014)
I have a Rendezvous with Death (2016)
River (2016)


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